Young people in Poplar HARCA’s neighbourhoods identified unemployment as the key issue affecting their lives. In response, Poplar HARCA set up Talent Match. The youth employment project is particularly impactful as being unemployed at a young age can potentially lead to a longer term impact on salary and future employment, as well as reduced life chances.
The Talent Match strategy
The Talent Match model is underpinned by a youth centred approach to enhancing employability. Through the programme, youth people who are challenged by multiple and complex barriers are equipped with ‘tools for life’. The aim is to transfer skills so that young people in Poplar HARCA neighbourhoods are empowered to navigate a fulfilling career pathway.
There are no quick fixes to entrenched problems. Therefore, the Talent Match programme takes a long-term approach, working with a small number of young people.
Outreaching young people in need of support
Talent Match aimed to engage ‘hidden‘ young people. It was therefore essential to use creative ways to engage those who are disengaged from existing provision and those who may not proactively access support.
Poplar HARCA’s employment and training team worked with the Spotlight Youth Service, as well as Docklands outreach: a youth service partner in Tower Hamlets. Through street outreach, the teams were able to connect with young people who were not previously engaged in any other service. Many of the young people also reached the Talent Match service through word of mouth.